Survey highlights need for more understanding around sustainable heating options

UK householders have a ‘strong’ appetite for investing in more sustainable forms of heating, new research has revealed.

However, the survey announced by trade specialist Wolseley also found ‘significant’ numbers of householders believe sustainable heating options are too expensive, and people do not understand enough about those options or government subsidies designed to assist with costs.

Responses from more than 1,000 homeowners and tenants across the UK found that 34% of respondents intend to spend their money changing their heating system over holidays or other experiences (31%) this year. Almost half (48%) believe it is important for their energy source to be environmentally-friendly, while 52% will be considering the environment when they next renew their heating system.

72% of respondents said they would seek a heat pump, hydrogen or other non-gas/oil boiler to deliver cheaper long-term energy costs.

However, the survey also identified challenges that need to be overcome to make sustainable forms of heating more accessible. 55% cite high expense as the main barrier, while 60% said they had a lack of knowledge on the issue.

36% of respondents want to wait until government funding/subsidies become clearer, and only 14% of people trust the government to provide clear and fair advice about future heating options.

Across the UK, 23% of people revealed they had already discussed options for a ground source or air source heat pump or a hydrogen/hybrid boiler, rising to 28% in Scotland.

Simon Oakland, CEO of Wolseley Group, said, “Transforming the way that UK homes are heated to reduce environmental impact will take time. There are big hurdles to overcome around cost and reskilling of existing heating engineers.

“Specialist merchants, like Wolseley, will be critical in providing the support, training and advice needed to increase the number of installers able to provide these new technologies.

“It is clear that the government and the home heating sector need to be working together more closely to accelerate this transition by making the available grants and subsidies clearer, and the options more understandable. The appetite for more sustainable home heating is clearly there across the country.”